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China on quest to find first-ever habitable planet near solar system

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Beijing | May 20, 2022 9:54:11 PM IST
Chinese scientists have proposed a space project named Closeby Habitable Exoplanet Survey (CHES) to survey the sky with the help of a space-borne telescope, in the quest for habitable terrestrial planets outside the solar system, said CGTN News.

If China becomes successful in carrying out the project, it would be the very first space mission, designed in the search for habitable Earth-like planets, about 32 light-years from Earth.

The space project will offer answers to questions about the solar system, CGTN News quoted Ji Jianghui, the principal investigator of the CHES mission as saying.

"These studies will ultimately answer questions such as 'Is our solar system special?' or 'Are we unique in the universe?' and provide a deeper understanding of the formation and evolution of Earth and the solar system, and a full picture of nature and origin of life, so as to better understand ourselves," said Jianghui.

So far, over 5,000 exoplanets or planets which are beyond the solar system have been discovered and also confirmed, said CGTN News. Out of the 5,000 exoplanets, 50 planets like Earth which fall in the habitable zone have been discovered as well. However, those 50 exoplanets are hundreds of light-years away from Earth, said CGTN News.

"The discovery of the nearby habitable worlds will be a great breakthrough for humankind, and will also help humans visit those Earth twins and expand our living space in the future," said Ji Jianghui.

"Our astrometric detection will not place constraints on the orbital plane of the planet. It can detect planets in any orbit, and can directly measure the mass of the habitable planets, so it can achieve a comprehensive survey of planets orbiting Sun-like stars nearby," he added as per CGTN News.

Further, the CHES mission will be contributing to the advancement of scientific research like explorations pertaining to black holes and the dark matter in the universe. Presently, preliminary investigations have been carried out by a team of several Chinese research institutes, backed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Astronomers from all over the world would be invited to participate in the research as well. (ANI)

 
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